Is It Possible To Earn Decent Money From Creating Digital Animation? Get Your Answers & Jump Right Into It!

Animation is a booming industry that is growing more and more every day. It’s hard to deny that animation can be a good career choice in 2022! Just look at all these mind boggling cartoons that are being released by such channels like Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and some popular cartoon projects online and YouTube. Not to mention a huge world of anime and video games industry which offer exciting opportunities to anime creators in this field. 

Animation creators make decent money working for TV too. If you are into making shorts and films, you can do this for profit by making ads and animated commercials. 

In 2022, most animators earn money by doing either one (or both):

  • Comics/Manga
  • Videos

You can make a living out of animation. Sometimes a comfy living! In this blog post, let’s talk about where to start and how you can make money from creating animation without costly investments. And what Internet sources are good to use for selling your animation projects

What jobs does the animation industry offer? 

Being an animation creator means a lot of different things which really depend on who you are, what you like, and why you want to be one. Animators spend most of their time designing images, logos, or any other animated videos depending upon which company or field they are working at.

Animators work as:

  • Concept Artist
  • Art director
  • Layout artist
  • Storyboard artist
  • Character modeler
  • BG modeler
  • Texturing artist
  • Animator
  • Technical director
  • VFX artist
  • Architectural designer
  • Comic book artist
  • Logo and Product designer

There are two most popular kinds of computer animation that exist today – 2D and 3D. Of course, the 2D animation is generally hand-drawn into the computer. It depends on the studio that varies degrees of “limited animation”. In other words, drawing less frames and relying on cheaper tricks to produce something faster or at lower cost. 

Higher end 2D animation is stuff like She-ra or Avatar the Last Airbender. Lower end 2D animation is stuff like The Flinstones or Peppa Pig. 2D concept artist, storyboard artist, editorial, storyboard revisionist, animator, background painter, screenwriting (especially for TV). In 2022, all 3D and 2D animation are fully computer-based. And this is what most big studios such as Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks have moved to. 

Regardless of 2D or 3D, there are many jobs within each one, all of which are under the umbrella term of “animator”. Yes, animation industry offer a wide scope of different jobs: modelers, riggers, shader/material/look/texture artists (called something different at every studio), character animators, FX artists, technical animators, pipeline tools, technical directors, rendering, lighting, compositing, stereoscopy, editorial, set extension, 3D digital matte painting.

Then, there’s many types of studios, which vastly impact the type of work animation creators are doing. For example, there are CG animation feature films and games studios like Frozen, Coco, Despicable Me. Television studios such as Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, VFX. Live action film with animated elements, companies like MPC or ILM. Video game studios: Insomniac Games, Infinity Ward. Commercial studios: Third Floor and lots of smaller companies. 

Also, animators find clients in medical visualization, educational videos, music videos, Kickstarter pitches, etc. for freelance projects.

What are the tools out there that create an outstanding quality animation?

Animation can be a very complicated process, with different styles and techniques that all have their advantages and disadvantages. No matter how difficult something is to make, the final product usually makes it worth it. So, here are most popular software that animators utilize for making a great quality animation:

After Effects is another great software for making awesome quality animation. Once you start working with it, you’ll feel its power right away. There are a lot of different things that After Effects does well, so it’s a great program to learn and emulate through your own learning. You’ll find plenty of learning resources online on how to use After Effects. For example, Grinfer does have a couple of really cool online courses on After Effects that won’t make your learning path a life-long endeavor. Time investment: 3–6 weeks for the basics. Well… And a lifetime to master! 

Try Inkscape which is a free open source vector image creation software. You can create fantastic vector illustrations and designs with it, and unlike any of the Adobe stuff, they don’t hold it hostage and charge you a monthly fee to keep using it! Inkscape is relatively easy to learn, it just takes a while to work out the best way to use it. Hurrah for Inkscape! 

Today, Blender is one of the best programs for creating 3D animation no matter if you’re a student or a professional. Blender is a free software that is powerful enough to create industry standard projects. Another great thing about it is that Blender has a great community of developers and artists. If you just want to create great animation in Blender, then the smart thing to do is to gain knowledge about expressions, rigging, different types of physical movements etc. If you want to learn complete blender software, then you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on it because there are too many resources on the Internet for beginners. Plus, you can learn from many artists who love to work in Blender.

Adobe Animate is an all exclusive computer animation software for games, TV, etc. including live character animation. It’s a multimedia authoring program developed by Adobe Inc. for creating design animation and vector graphics. Animate is a lot more technical and is more of a tech leveraged way of doing frame by frame animation. But you can learn it easily on Grinfer! 

The truth is that once you’re done with the project, most likely you’ll forget exactly how difficult it was to create a certain animation by the time you’re done with it. Anyways, take a peek at a few things about different mediums and their pros/cons: 

Stop-Motion: 

pros: 

  • you don’t need to use a computer to create textures and shading 
  • you don’t need to flip back and forth between frames 
  • the end result tends to look very creative 

cons: 

  • you can’t flip back and forth between frames. 
  • you need to be good at building things. 
  • If you move anything unintentionally or in a way you weren’t intending, you have to start over 
  • time consuming 

Computer 3D: 

pros: 

  • looks really nice when rendered properly 
  • easy to animate when rigged properly 
  • can a lot of fun to model things 

cons: 

  • computer glitches are common 
  • rendering can take forever 
  • rigging can take forever (if not done properly)

Digital 2D: 

pros: 

  • lots of different programs to choose from 
  • many different ways to use to get everything done 
  • can flip through and edit frames in any order and preview animations as you work 

cons: 

  • can be overwhelming when working on long scenes 
  • can be frustrating if you need to get used to a new program. 
How would you really know whether you want to be an animator? 

You can get a better idea of the types of questions you should be asking yourself if you want to pursue CG animation: “Do I know what specific part of animation I like?” Such as, modeling, character animation, storyboarding, lighting, etc.? If not, it’s hard to really decide if you want to do it or not. Since you don’t know what the typical day looks like in that field. If yes, then talk to people in that field and take notes!

Here are more survey questions for you to think about:

  • Do you enjoy storytelling, art, or computer science? If so, that’s a good sign!
  • Are you willing and able to take critique, even if it feels personal? It’s one of the hardest things for people to get used to when they first start animation. But once they embrace it, they become phenomenal artists!
  • How do you feel about group projects? Animation usually implies being a part of one big collaborative group project.
  • Are you willing to take on the learning curve that is Maya and other CG programs? It generally lasts about a year for most people, but it’s during that time that a lot of people give up because of a steep learning curve.
  • Do you like making friends and networking? That’s how you get most jobs in the industry.
  • Do you enjoy learning about every subject? Animators need to know a lot, like psychology, physics, acting, painting/color theory, and other random things depending on the project.
  • Do you enjoy watching movies and TV shows?
  • Do you find yourself using your free time drawing or doing animation related tasks?
  • Could you see yourself working on a movie, game, or show you might not like?
How to get a foot in the door of the animation industry?

Start your own youtube channel, FB account, Twitter Account, connect with community forum or portal, then share your sample work with copyright your name, open freelancer account. These online resources will help you to reach more customers/companies and get more business offers. 

There are multiple ways of making money from animations. Most obvious ones are working for animation studios whether you are freelancing or you work full time. Other ways are uploading your animations onto YouTube and collecting likes to earn money from YouTube through adverts. Animating is a long process and also after animating you have to edit your animation, add sounds, explosions, voice over. And after editing, you can upload your work on YouTube. The whole process usually takes about a week, depending on how long your animation is. So, be prepared that you’ll need some patience. But it pays off in the end.  

Twitch can land some money too. Twitch becomes handy because there are adverts for those who aren’t subscribed and animators can stream for as many hours as they can, having people watch how animation is built. And then showing them what has been achieved. Sometimes it pays off even better than creating the actual animation and then uploading it on the web for people to watch. 

Freelancing basically means self employment. People or businesses reach out to animators, for example, if there is a need for an intro to their video advert. And animators can design such things.  

Here are some common ways for freelance animators to make money from their skills:

  • Animation for blog posts (with affiliate links included)
  • Animation for websites
  • Collaboration with toy makers to make designs similar to animation
  • Creating animation designs for advertising business affiliates 
  • Drop shipping with gear related to animation.

Of course, it helps a lot if your name has already been noticed and your works are liked by many people on certain websites that feature animated content. Afterall, if you make content that people enjoy watching, you will generate revenue from creating animation and not only for a side hustle. 

Bottom-line

If you are an animation creator, you’ve got endless possibilities of making good money online as well as offline in 2022. But no matter your skills and experience as an Adobe professional, visual effects or motion graphics artist, the main goal is to deliver fun, unique, and high-quality content to your audience and clients. 

Another way to make money is to teach online workshops, tutorial websites to monetize them later with ads. However, the truth is that if you want to earn decent money online or offline, you have to build and earn a good reputation.

Start earning your worldwide recognition and reputation by promoting yourself, your work, and your skills on Grinfer! Just give us a holler at support@grinfer.com and start building your awesome online course with us. We’ll get you all set up and provide you with all the tools that you need for building a best selling course!

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